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Access to Government Information In the United States: A Primer

Description: The U.S. Constitution makes no specific allowance for any one of the three branches of the federal government to have access to information held by the others. No provision in the U.S. Constitution expressly establishes a procedure for public access to government information. Congress has legislated various public access laws. Among these laws are two records access statutes, The Freedom of Information Act, the Privacy Act, and two meetings access statutes, the Federal Advisory Committee Act, and the Government in the Sunshine Act. This report offers an overview of the four information access laws noted above, and provides citations to additional resources related to these tools.
Date: August 31, 2009
Creator: Ginsberg, Wendy R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Access to Government Information in the United States: A Primer

Description: This report offers an introduction to the four access laws and provides citations to additional resources related to these statutes. It includes statistics on the use of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) and on litigation related to FOIA. In addition, this report provides some examples of the methods Congress, the President, and the courts have employed to provide or require the provision of information to one another, as well as a list of resources related to transparency, secrecy, access, and nondisclosure.
Date: March 18, 2016
Creator: Ginsberg, Wendy & Greene, Michael
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Analysis of Ten Selected Science and Technology Policy Studies

Description: Since the end of the Cold War in the early 1990s, a number of reports have been prepared on a broad range of science and technology (S&T) policy issues, most notably dealing with national research and development (R&D) goals, priorities, and budgets, and university-government-industry relationships. This report discusses and analyzes ten of these S&T reports.
Date: September 4, 1997
Creator: Boesman, William C
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Appropriations Bills: What is Report Language?

Description: When the Senate or House Appropriations Committee reports an appropriations bill to the full Senate or House, respectively, the committee typically publishes a committee report explaining the bill. This fact sheet provides a brief overview of what these reports entail and the language used within them.
Date: January 12, 2005
Creator: Streeter, Sandy
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Balancing Scientific Publication and National Security Concerns: Issues for Congress

Description: There is a lack of consensus regarding the best method of balancing scientific publishing and national security. The current federal policy, as described in National Security Decision Directive 189, is that fundamental research should remain unrestricted and that in the rare case where it is necessary to restrict such information, classification is the appropriate vehicle to do so. Other mechanisms restrict international information flow, where Export Administration Regulations (EAR) and International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) control export of items and technical information on specific lists. Both EAR and ITAR contain a fundamental research exclusion, but this exclusion is lost if prepublication review of research results for sensitive information occurs.
Date: February 2, 2006
Creator: Shea, Dana A
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Balancing Scientific Publication and National Security Concerns: Issues for Congress

Description: There is a lack of consensus regarding the best method of balancing scientific publishing and national security. The current federal policy, as described in National Security Decision Directive 189, is that fundamental research should remain unrestricted and that in the rare case where it is necessary to restrict such information, classification is the appropriate vehicle to do so. Other mechanisms restrict international information flow, where Export Administration Regulations (EAR) and International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) control export of items and technical information on specific lists. Both EAR and ITAR contain a fundamental research exclusion, but this exclusion is lost if prepublication review of research results for sensitive information occurs.
Date: January 10, 2003
Creator: Shea, Dana A
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Balancing Scientific Publication and National Security Concerns: Issues for Congress

Description: There is a lack of consensus regarding the best method of balancing scientific publishing and national security. The current federal policy, as described in National Security Decision Directive 189, is that fundamental research should remain unrestricted and that in the rare case where it is necessary to restrict such information, classification is the appropriate vehicle to do so. Other mechanisms restrict international information flow, where Export Administration Regulations (EAR) and International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) control export of items and technical information on specific lists. Both EAR and ITAR contain a fundamental research exclusion, but this exclusion is lost if prepublication review of research results for sensitive information occurs.
Date: July 9, 2003
Creator: Shea, Dana A
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Balancing Scientific Publication and National Security Concerns: Issues for Congress

Description: There is a lack of consensus regarding the best method of balancing scientific publishing and national security. The current federal policy, as described in National Security Decision Directive 189, is that fundamental research should remain unrestricted and that in the rare case where it is necessary to restrict such information, classification is the appropriate vehicle to do so. Other mechanisms restrict international information flow, where Export Administration Regulations (EAR) and International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) control export of items and technical information on specific lists. Both EAR and ITAR contain a fundamental research exclusion, but this exclusion is lost if prepublication review of research results for sensitive information occurs.
Date: December 16, 2004
Creator: Shea, Dana A
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Balancing Scientific Publication and National Security Concerns: Issues for Congress

Description: There is a lack of consensus regarding the best method of balancing scientific publishing and national security. The current federal policy, as described in National Security Decision Directive 189, is that fundamental research should remain unrestricted and that in the rare case where it is necessary to restrict such information, classification is the appropriate vehicle to do so. Other mechanisms restrict international information flow, where Export Administration Regulations (EAR) and International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) control export of items and technical information on specific lists. Both EAR and ITAR contain a fundamental research exclusion, but this exclusion is lost if prepublication review of research results for sensitive information occurs.
Date: February 2, 2004
Creator: Shea, Dana A
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Census 2000: Sampling as an Appropriations Issue in the 105th Congress

Description: The 105th Congress has debated the decennial census sampling issue mainly in the appropriations process, beginning with FY1997 supplemental appropriations legislation for disaster relief. In FY1998 appropriations for Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary, and Related Agencies (CJS), the Senate (S. 1022) instructed the Bureau of the Census not to make “irreversible” Census 2000 sampling plans, while the House (H.R. 2267) sought a moratorium on these plans, pending expedited judicial review of their constitutionality and legality.
Date: September 1, 1998
Creator: Williams, Jennifer D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Census 2000: The Sampling Debate

Description: Plans by the Bureau of the Census to incorporate data from two new sample surveys into the 2000 decennial census count have had a mixed congressional reception. Three sampling bills in the 105th Congress (H.R. 1220, H.R. 1178, and H.R. 776) have been referred to committee, without further action. Sampling has been debated chiefly in the appropriations process (H.R. 1469, H.R. 1871 [P.L. 105-18; 111 Stat. 158], and H.R. 2267/S. 1022 [P.L. 105-119; 111 Stat. 2440]). The bureau now is a defendant in two anti-sampling suits brought under P.L. 105-119. The law also established a Census Monitoring Board and directed the bureau to prepare for a traditional headcount in 2000, not just to continue with its sampling plans.
Date: April 27, 1998
Creator: Williams, Jennifer D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Changing Demographic Profile of the United States

Description: As noted by the Population Reference Bureau, “The U.S. is getting bigger, older, and more diverse.” The objective of this report is to highlight some of the demographic changes that have already occurred since 1950 and to illustrate how these and future trends will reshape the nation in the decades to come (through 2050). This report discusses the current and projected demographic changes if policymakers accelerate efforts to address and adapt to the changing population profile as it relates to a number of essential domains, such as work, retirement, and pensions, private wealth and income security, and the health and well-being of the aging population.
Date: May 5, 2006
Creator: Shrestha, Laura B.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

China: Suspected Acquisition of U.S. Nuclear Weapon Secrets

Description: This CRS Report discusses China’s suspected acquisition of U.S. nuclear weapon secrets, including that on the W88, the newest U.S. nuclear warhead, since the late 1970s. This current controversy, began in early 1999, raises policy issues about whether U.S. security is further threatened by the PRC’s suspected use of U.S. nuclear weapon secrets in its development of nuclear forces, as well as whether the Administration’s response to the security problems is effective or mishandled and whether it fairly used or abused its investigative and prosecuting authority.
Date: February 1, 2006
Creator: Kan, Shirley A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

China: Suspected Acquisition of U.S. Nuclear Weapon Secrets

Description: This CRS Report discusses China’s suspected acquisition of U.S. nuclear weapon secrets, including that on the W88, the newest U.S. nuclear warhead, since the late 1970s. This current controversy, began in early 1999, raises policy issues about whether U.S. security is further threatened by the PRC’s suspected use of U.S. nuclear weapon secrets in its development of nuclear forces, as well as whether the Administration’s response to the security problems is effective or mishandled and whether it fairly used or abused its investigative and prosecuting authority.
Date: December 20, 2000
Creator: Kan, Shirley A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Classified Information Policy and Executive Order 13526

Description: This report provides information on classified information policy, which also is called security classification policy and national security classification information policy. It discusses the history, costs, and agencies assigned roles in classified information policy. The report focuses on Executive Order 13526, which establishes much of the current policy, and the report identifies possible oversight issues for Congress.
Date: December 10, 2010
Creator: Kosar, Kevin R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Common Questions About Federal Records and Related Agency Requirements

Description: This report provides an introduction to federal records. It describes the scope and requirements of the Federal Records Act (FRA) and its associated regulations. This report focuses on federal recordkeeping laws, regulations, and policies including what is or is not a federal record, which agencies are required to comply with the FRA and how agencies can transfer or dispose of federal records. This report does not address the recordkeeping requirements of Congress, the Supreme Court, the President, or the Architect of the Capitol.
Date: February 2, 2015
Creator: Ginsberg, Wendy
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Conference Reports and Joint Explanatory Statements

Description: This report discusses the function of conference reports and joint explanatory statements in Congress. The conference report presents the formal legislative language on which the conference committee has agreed. The joint explanatory statement explains the various elements of the conferees' agreement in relation to the positions that the House and Senate had committed to the conference committee.
Date: June 11, 2015
Creator: Davis, Christopher M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Conference Reports and Joint Explanatory Statements

Description: The conference report presents the formal legislative language on which the conference committee has agreed. The joint explanatory statement explains the various elements of the conferees’ agreement in relation to the positions that the House and Senate had committed to the conference committee.
Date: February 28, 2003
Creator: Bach, Stanley & Davis, Christopher M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Conference Reports and Joint Explanatory Statements

Description: The conference report presents the formal legislative language on which the conference committee has agreed. The joint explanatory statement explains the various elements of the conferees’ agreement in relation to the positions that the House and Senate had committed to the conference committee.
Date: January 24, 2001
Creator: Bach, Stanley
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Congressional Access to Executive Branch Information: Legislative Tools

Description: This report begins by reviewing the precedents established during the Washington Administration for withholding documents from Congress. Close examination reveals that the scope of presidential privilege is often exaggerated. Congress had access to more documentation than is commonly believed and might have had more had it pressed for it. Subsequent sections focus on various forms of congressional leverage: the power of the purse, the power to impeach, issuing congressional subpoenas, holding executive officials in contempt, House resolutions of inquiry, GAO investigations, and blocking nominations, all of which may force executive officials to release documents they would otherwise want to keep private and confidential. Even if Presidents announce perfectly plausible grounds for withholding documents, they may have to comply with the congressional will to achieve other more important goals.
Date: May 17, 2001
Creator: Fisher, Louis
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department